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SPOTLIGHT
Dodge no match for HHS

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Dodge no match for HHS

Published on -10/7/2012, 8:05 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Heading into Hays High School's football game against Dodge City, it was easy to single out Dodge City's signal caller, 6-foot-5 junior quarterback Kelan Newton, as one of the best passers in the WAC.

But on Friday at Lewis Field Stadium, Hays High sophomore quarterback Alex Delton reminded everyone his name deserves to be in that conversation.

The young 6-foot QB completed 12 of 14 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns in Hays High's 52-31 blowout of Dodge City.

Hays High improved to 5-1 and 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, while Dodge City dropped to 3-3 and 1-2 in the league.

Delton set career highs in completions, attempts and passing yardage for a game and tied his career-best passing touchdown mark, which he set the week before with four against Wichita South. With his season-best performance, he's now completed 65.5 percent of his passes this season.

"We knew Dodge City was going to come in heavy, so we just had to try and be dynamic," Delton said. "It worked this week, and we just have to keep continuing to improve."

Hays High's defense stood strong against Dodge City's relentless passing attack and helped Delton out duel Newton.

Newton accumulated more yardage than Delton but that was the result of pure volume.

Dodge City ran out of the shotgun all game and called passes on 87 percent of its plays, as Newton completed 24 of 50 passes for 302 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

"Our DBs did a nice job of breaking on the ball," Hays High coach Ryan Cornelsen said. "I don't know how many times they threw it for, but it was a bunch."

Meanwhile, the Indians put on display another offensive spectacle.

It was the fourth time this season Hays High has scored 50 or more points. The Indians average scoring 48 points per game and are tied for second in Class 5A in scoring offense with Mill Valley. Wichita-Bishop Carroll leads the classification, scoring 50.3 points per game.

"We've been putting up a lot of points. I just hope it continues throughout the year," Delton said. "We'll have some corrections we'll have to make from film in practice this next week, but if we can keep up scoring 40 to 50 points a game, that's a good goal to make, and I think we'd be fine going into districts."

Hays High executed a balanced attack, barraging the Red Demons with a heavy dose of junior fullback Preston Weigel and senior running back David Cardinal and then striking through the air with Delton.

Weigel finished with 13 carries for 189 yards and a touchdown, while Cardinal ran 14 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

"Everybody blocked well," Weigel said. "It was a good deal. We ran hard. David ran hard. The line all did their jobs."

Delton's main target was 6-foot-3 senior receiver Adam Deterding.

Deterding caught five passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns -- all season highs.

"I just feel so comfortable with Adam," Delton said. "Even if it's a bad ball, I know he'll make something happen. He does his best all the time."

Hays High had the game in hand, out gaining Dodge City's offense 615 to 332. If it weren't for Hays High's 12 penalties for 107 yards and a late 53-yard touchdown pass from Newton to senior wide receiver Jordan Doan against the Indians' second-string defense, Dodge City likely would have lost by more than 21 points.

"I thought our kids executed the plan exactly like they were supposed to, and when you execute what we see on film and they set up the way we think they are going to set up, you have a chance to make some big plays," Cornelsen said.

Hays High took the game over early.

The Indians scored on their first three possessions in rapid succession, taking just seven plays and two minutes and 55 seconds combined. Weigel busted a 71-yard touchdown run, then Cardinal broke an 82-yard touchdown run and Delton completed a 74-yard touchdown pass to Deterding on a deep post route to lead 21-7 in the first quarter.

Hays High kept up the pressure in the second quarter.

Junior kicker Lane Clark made a 27-yard field goal with 11:52 remaining in the second quarter.

On the Indians' next possession, they marched down the field 75 yards on nine plays and scored. Delton connected with senior running back Emilio Mitchell on a 46-yard touchdown pass. Mitchell caught the pass after Dodge City's defensive back Kolten Schulte deflected the pass, and it landed in Mitchell's hands.

The Indians capped another long drive on their next possession, marching 62 yards on 11 plays and capping it with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Deterding on an out route.

The Indians led 38-7 at halftime.

Dodge City rallied in the third quarter, scoring 17 points on Newton's 8 of 11 passing attack, but it was too little, too late.

Cardinal's six-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Deterding's 12-yard, over-the-shoulder touchdown reception in the fourth quarter helped hold off a Dodge City comeback.

"We are doing great," Weigel said. "We have high goals. I think we'll achieve them if we keep training hard."

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